A roundup of domestic and international news.
EU - The Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union continues in Brussels. The EU is working to modernise cross-border exchanges between authorities through digitalisation and the use of IT to improve judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, the EU Council has said in a release. To achieve this, the Council adopted on Tuesday its negotiating position on two amended regulations, one on the taking of evidence and a second on the service of documents. The draft regulations provide for the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters in the taking of evidence and service of documents. The draft amendments improve the efficiency and speed of cross-border judicial proceedings by taking advantage of digitalisation and the use of modern technology, and by these means advance access to justice and fair trial for the parties. Changes in both regulations include the mandatory use of an electronic decentralised IT system, composed of interconnected national IT systems, for the transmission of documents and requests between member states. The draft regulations also task the Commission with the creation, maintenance and future development of a reference software which member states can choose to apply as their back end system, instead of a nationally-developed IT system. Regarding the service of documents, under the draft new rules documents can be served electronically and directly on addressee with a known address in another member state, where his or her express consent is given in advance. The draft new rules also promote the use of videoconferencing or other distance communication technology in the taking of evidence which implies hearing a witness, party or expert present in another member state.
NATO - NATO leaders have convened in London to celebrate the alliance's 70th anniversary. On this occasion, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis is presenting the national assessments on security developments at regional and global levels. Reconfirming the Alliance's unity and cohesion and strong trans-Atlantic ties are essential for Romania in the present context and President Iohannis is expected to reiterate the importance of the Black Sea for the region's security. Wednesday will see a fresh round of talks over the future of the alliance, after the latest statements by French president Emmanuel Macron who described NATO as 'brain dead' due to the United States' decreasing commitment and Turkey's involvement in military operations without consulting its partners. NATO leaders and German chancellor Angela Merkel have voiced disagreement towards Macron's 'drastic words'.
DEAL - The European Union is expected to launch the world's most ambitious programme aimed at fighting climate change, a project known as the European Green Deal, which is to radically change the bloc's economy, Bloomberg news agency has announced. The EU leaders will commit to cutting net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050, according to a draft of their joint statement for the December 12th and 13th meeting. In order to meet this target, the EU pledges more green investment and to adjust all of its policy making accordingly. Easing restrictions on state aid for companies, changing public procurement rules, considering more ambitious targets for 2030 emissions cuts, penalizing imports from countries with looser emissions controls are some of the provisions of the aforementioned accord.
EUROSTAT - In October 2019, compared with September 2019, industrial producer prices rose by 0.1% in both euro area (EA19) and EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, made public on Tuesday. In September 2019, prices increased by 0.1% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU28. In October 2019, compared with October 2018, industrial producer prices fell by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.6% in the EU. In the EU28, industrial producer prices rose by 0.2% for both energy sector and non-durable consumer goods, by 0.1% for durable consumer goods and remained stable for capital goods, while they fell by 0.3% for intermediate goods. Prices in total industry excluding energy fell by 0.1%. The highest increases in industrial producer prices were recorded in Belgium (+2.3%), Netherlands (+0.9%), Denmark and Spain (both +0.5%), while the largest decreases were observed in Greece (-2.0%), Estonia (-0.7%), and Latvia (-0.6%). In the EU28, industrial producer prices fell by 8.0% in the energy sector and by 0.7% for intermediate goods, while they rose by 1.5% for both capital goods and durable consumer goods and by 1.6% for non-durable consumer goods. Prices in total industry excluding energy rose by 0.6%. The largest decreases in industrial producer prices were recorded in Denmark and Italy (both -4.1%), Greece (-4.0%) and Belgium (-3.0%), while the highest increases were observed in Bulgaria (+3.8%), Romania (+2.9%) and Slovenia (+1.9%)
HANDBALL - Romania's women handball side on Tuesday defeated Kazakhstan, 22-20, in group C of the World Championship underway in Japan. The Romanians lost to Spain 16-31 and secured a 29-24 win against Senegal. On Monday Romanian skipper Cristina Neagu was presented the trophy for the world's best handballer in 2018 by the International Handball Federation. Neagu is the first handballer to have won the title four times after the editions of 2010, 2015 and 2016. With 110 goals, left back Neagu last year was declared the top scorer of the Champions League for the second time in her career. (Translated by Elena Enache)